PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, Fall 2016

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18 TRENDS // FALL 2016 www.PackagingDigest.com consumer insights Mintel Market Snapshot www.mintel.com/gnpd Responsible food packaging could connect consumers to the environment As Americans take notice of increasingly strained global food resources, research from Mintel's 2016 US Food Packaging Report reveals that 80% U.S. food shoppers agree that reducing food waste is as important as reducing packaging waste. To limit waste, half (52%) of consumers indicate they would prefer to buy foods with minimal or even no packaging. As they look to extend the life of the food products they buy, 81% of consumers say they would choose resealable packaging over non- resealable packaging, and more than half (54%) would pay more for packaging with added features, such as being resealable or portion controlled, with three in 10 (30%) often reusing food packaging for other purposes. However, recycling of food packaging is far from a universal behavior, as just two in five (42%) consumers report recycling most of the food packaging they use. A lack of clear communication on labels may be a contributor to the relatively low recycling rate, as 25% of consumers agree that it's not always clear which food packaging is recyclable. Further, only 13% of consumers make an effort to avoid foods in packaging that cannot be recycled. "Our research shows that reducing food waste is top of mind for consumers," says John Owen, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel. "This presents opportunities for food brands and retailers to address these concerns through innovative packaging and product messaging." However, in 2015, just one in five (21%) food product introductions in the U.S. included on-pack claims regarding environmentally friendly packaging. To combat this, Mintel's global packaging team has been sharing details and opportunities with packaging converter, brand owner and retailer clients about the Sustainable Packaging Coalition's How2Recycle label, which provides consumers with hyper-local, actionable information on package recycling. "The prevention of food waste can be positioned not only as a good way for consumers to save money, but also as a way to work toward reversing the growing food waste trend through conscious consumption," says Owen. That conscious consumption element could also spur brands to embrace the SmartLabel app (smartlabel.org), which affords shoppers and consumers with instant access to a much wider range of product ingredient, nutrition and allergen information, which could help lead to less food waste and, perhaps, a more responsible approach to packaging as well. Snack packaging and waste With snacking on the rise among on-the-go Americans, single-serve food packaging is growing in popularity. In fact, 36% of consumers are interested in packaging that allows food to be eaten on the go, while nearly one quarter (23%) often buy individually portioned packs. "Package innovation is playing a key role as food retailers respond to an ongoing shift away from the traditional three sit-down meals a day in favor of snacking and on-the-go eating," says Owen. What's more, 56% of consumers would be motivated to select one food product over another if its packaging better prevented food from going bad. When it comes to the more perishable food items purchased, smaller packages appear to be the way to go, as they can lead to less food waste. Indeed, Mintel research reveals that more than half (53%) of consumers agree fresh produce spoils before they can eat/use it and about two in five (41%) would pay more for vegetables that come in single-serve packages. What consumers are not aware of is the relationship between single-serve packaging and true eco-responsibility. Most commonly, consumers mistakenly believe a smaller package is better for the environment. To further build trust and increase purchase confidence, brands and manufacturers should seize the opportunity to build in on-pack messaging about eco-responsible packaging and when and where it makes more sense to buy larger size packages and then use reusable containers or snack/sandwich bags for on-the-go consumption. Mintel research shows that 63% of U.S. consumers actively seek out packages they can re-use. While they ultimately either want to or will recycle those packages, they are also seeking the opportunity for a secondary or alternative use occasion before they recycle them. "The more access consumers are given about the true environmental responsibility of various pack types, the better purchasing decisions they will be able to make," says Owen. Consumer attitudes toward paper packaging improve Last summer, the Paper and Packaging Board created the How Life Unfolds campaign to improve consumer attitudes toward paper and paper-based packaging products (see "New campaign encourages consumers to pick paper packaging" at https://pdlinks.com/HowLifeUnfolds). One year later, the organization is happy to report that consumer attitudes have seen significant improvement or held steady. Here are some highlights from the target audience who recall seeing the campaign ads as they relate to Personal Relevance and Product Quality: • 68% agree that paper-based product packaging is an essential part of everyday life, up from 56% last year. • 66% of respondents agree that products in paper-based product packaging tend to feel more premium, up 14% over the 52% who agreed with this statement a year ago. • 63% think more highly of companies that package products in paper-based packaging, up from 44% in 2015. Read all the top findings in the report at https://pdlinks.com/PPB1year. David Luttenberger is the global packaging director at Mintel. He has 24 years' packaging experience. Reach him at dluttenberger@mintel. com. Follow him on Twitter at @packaginggeek. What does your package say about recycling? The national How Life Unfolds campaign has successfully moved the needle on consumers' aff nity for paper-based packaging. Paper-based product packaging is an essenŸal part of everyday life Source: The Paper and Packaging Board, July 2016 2015 2016 Agree 56% Dis Agree 44% Dis Agree 32% Agree 68%

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